FONTANA, Calif. (KTLA) — Three people were arrested Tuesday in connection with the abduction and murder of a Fontana man whose body was found in a burned-out car a day after he went missing.
Alejandro Padilla, 40, was found dead inside his charred vehicle in Rialto on July 27.
The car turned up at Flores Park the day after Padilla was reported missing from his home.
On Tuesday, Edward Anthony Morales and Richard Gonzalez, both 18, were booked on suspicion of murder.
Morales’ mother, 37-year-old Alma Casada, was also arrested as an accessory to murder.
Morales had previously dated Padilla’s daughter, Emily, and knew the victim and his family, according to Fontana police.
Friends told KTLA that Morales dated Emily Padilla for about a year.
They said the teenager became angry and violent when Emily ended the relationship.
“Anthony seemed pretty obsessed with Emily,” family friend Tony Granados said.
Padilla was in the process of filing a restraining order against Morales when he was killed, according to friends.
“He was having problems with Anthony, basically trying to keep Anthony away from his daughter,” Granados said.
During a news conference two weeks ago, Emily Padilla made an impassioned plea for her father’s killer to come forward.
“He doesn’t deserve this. Nobody deserves this…I know that if you were in my position, you’d want to find who killed your father,” she said.
Padilla disappeared on July 26 at about 5 a.m. from the driveway of his home, where authorities believe he was attacked and abducted.
“He was on his way to work like he is every morning, Fontana police Sgt. Doug Imhof said.
“He made the phone call that he makes every morning to a co-worker and then he hasn’t shown up to work.”
When officers arrived, they found signs of a violent and bloody struggle in front of the house, police said.
The husband and father of two most recently worked as a driver for Coca-Cola.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Fontana police at (909) 350-7700.